A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

How I Yow Might Pleasè
Tuesday, March 12, 2013





On impulse some years ago I called up a beautiful woman,  Joanne Dahl, I was having a photographic affair with and asked her, “What do you find to be erotic?” Her answer was a very quick, “Yielding flesh.”

I went on a binge for weeks attempting to capture on film that statement of hers. The closest I ever got is the picture you see here.

In 1992 I purchased the book Slow Hand  - Women Writing Erotica. In this collection of short stories I discovered Barbara Gowdy in a story called Ninety-Three Million Miles Away.

In 1996 I saw Lynne Stopkevich’s film Kissed which was based on Gowdy short story by the same name. I was mesmerized by a film that was about women, based on a story written by a woman and directed by an exciting new female director Lynne Stopkevich.

By then I was convinced, I have not wavered in this belief, that women had a much more adventurous approach to what is erotic. This is probably due to a greater and daring imagination.


Joanne Dahl
In the years that have come and gone and women have posed for me in my sadly gone studio, I have been present in moments that defy anything any man (or at least this one) could imagine. Some of these sessions might have begun with a gentle instruction, “Alex, just take pictures. Don’t think.”

One of the most boring (not quite as boring at Books in Canada) Canadian literary magazines is our very own Quill & Quire. In September of 1997 I was called by Quill& Quire to photograph a young poet called Esta Spalding. Since I was one of those ignorant photographers (we are a legion) I was unaware that her mother was a recognized writer, too. I asked Esta Spalding the origin of her name. She told me that her father Philip and her mother, who was pregnant, were on a beach in Mexico. They were thinking of names for their future offspring. Not being aware that to be in Spanish can either be es or está (definitely without that accent, esta means "that one", fem). They decided that the baby would be called Is and chose the incorrect Esta!

By 2003 Esta Spalding’s claim to fame was a wonderful screen adaptation (she did the writing, and directed by Scott Smith) of Gowdy’s novel Falling Angels.

I mention Spalding here because after Quill & Quire published the article with my photograph, numerous people complained that the magazine had inadvertently shown Spalding’s nipple. I was called by the editor and I explained that it was simply the shadow of her finger caused by my light.


Esta Spalding

After I saw the next Stopkevich/Parker collaboration, Suspicious River in 2000 I called them to come to my studio where I would attempt to somehow photograph that special relationship they had for making dazzling erotic films. I tried everything with different lighting schemes to no avail.



Molly Parker & Lynne Stopkevich

In desperation I told them to rest. As soon as I told them they did what you see here. I took a Polaroid. We looked at it and we knew we had it. I then repeated that snap with b+w film and transparency film and the picture, over and over, conveyed this special relationship, this special imagination, this intangible quality that is a wonder to this man. I feel lucky that while I don’t understand it I have at least been able to get a glimpse. It is a glimpse that obviously has all to do with yielding flesh.




     

Previous Posts
No More Regrets

Purcell & Friends With The Pacific Baroque Orchest...

Georgia O'Keeffe & Flying Saucers

Vanished Vancouver

Streaking On Wreck Beach

Doctor Freud & The Dish Thrower

Godiva

The Car Wash - Autolavado

A Portraitist Not

Aspiring To Aspire



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9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17